The Thief Carbon Process is a patented technology developed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory and licensed to Mobotec USA, a leader in the development and marketing of technologies for multi-pollutant control for utility boilers. The Thief Carbon Process entails extracting active carbon from the flame region of a pulverized coal-fired boiler. The carbon is then injected into the back-pass to serve as a low-cost mercury sorbent.
Diagram courtesy of NETL
In partnership with Mobotec, WRI deployed our 250,000 Btu/h Combustion Test Facility (CTF) to test a Thief Carbon device and optimize the extraction conditions. Thief Carbon sorbent was tested on a slip stream in a full-scale power plant, and mercury capture data confirmed its effectiveness. In fact, its mercury emissions reduction was comparable to that of commercially available sorbents. WRI testing has also established that thief carbon can be collected during oxy-combustion of coal with comparable mercury sorption capacity.
WRI and the University of Wyoming are collaborating to develop a "doped" version of thief carbon. The Combustion Test Facility and the carbon extraction device designed and built by WRI are available for testing and optimizing technologies and processes for the coal-fired power industry.